London Mozart Players at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral

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Superlatives are often overused, but this concert proved how necessary they are. Marking the start of the 16th Festivities, it was quite the celebration.

The London Mozart Players (LMP) presented matchlessly-crafted musical lines and utterly captivating passion throughout the programme. Mozart’s Divertimento (K136) had all the vibrancy, poetry and playfulness that one could want, with the intimacy of a chamber group but the presence of a full orchestra.

Former Young Musician of the Year Laura van der Heijden demonstrated an impeccable sense of space and lyricism in Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile, and rapport with fellow cellist Tim Posner was immediately apparent in Handel’s Trio for Two Cellos.

Portsmouth Festival Youth Choir shone under the direction of the effervescent Dominic Peckham in Brahms’ luscious Geistliches Lied.

The LMP confirmed its reputation as one of the finest ensembles of its kind in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings – immaculately played. If one needed an argument in defence of the arts…